Sunday, January 31, 2010

Running on Snow

2.3 mi. in 31:53 min. on a hilly course
Time of day: 11:30 a.m.
Temp: 40°F, WC 35°F

Today's easy run turned out to be not so easy. I met up with my son and he picked the course, a near-by fitness trail. I trekked this trail earlier in my training. Read about it here. And again today it kicked my butt. I am continually reminded that I am a beginner runner and small things make big differences.

This trail is not cleared when it snows. So it was dry in some places, wet in others; snow packed in some areas and even icy in some spots. I have never run on snow or ice, so that aspect slowed me down. And I started at the opposite end of the course from where I usually start. Not so a great move because I immediately had a long incline to get up. I expended alot of energy getting up that hill. So much energy that about 3/4 of the way I had to walk for about 3-4 minutes. I think if I had started at the main starting point, I would have performed better. My son was so great. He kept encouraging me as I struggled and when I needed to walk he stayed with me. He was surprised when I said o.k let's run again.

Not a great performance today numbers-wise, but I was out of doors (always a plus) and I finished the run running. I also appreciate and respect the reminder that I am still very much in training. All in all, I had a great run.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Better Day

3.0 mi. in 37.53 min. at 3.5% incline.
Time of day: 9 a.m.
Temp: 22°F, WC 8°F and snow

Today's run was really good. Cold temps and 3" of fresh now kept me indoors on the treadmill. But it was a really good run. I felt strong and enjoyed the run.

The 3.5% incline was not my idea. The guy on the treadmill before me had it set there and I couldn't get it to go back to 0. I used to think I was pretty tech savvy, but this issue with the treadmill and the fact my iPod app continues to play only 3-5 seconds of each song on my playlist, makes me wonder. So I set my speed at 4.9 mph and figured if I tired out I would just slow down. Quite the contrary. I felt really good running and considered running farther than my scheduled 3 miles. But I decided it was better to stick to the training schedule and not over do the distance. I am, however, looking forward to this coming week so I can begin to do longer runs again.

Friday, January 29, 2010

And the Beat Goes On

3.2 mi. in 37:20 min. at 1% incline
Time of day: 7 a.m.
Temp: 18°F, WC 3°F.

In looking for the positive in today's run—I completed, in really good shape, 3 mi. at 4.9 mph. and 1% incline.

On the not so positive side, I dropped my iPhone once, accidentally hit the panic button on the treadmill and had to start over. I really need to find an armband that doesn't irritate my skin. (The Love Of My Life said he would buy one for me as a Valentine's Day gift.  He's so great!) And then after I restarted my music, the songs would play for like 3 sec. then change. I ended up starting Pandora and listening to my country music station.

I felt like a total bumbling idiot up there on the treadmill in front of the whole gym. But, and here's another good thing, I stuck it out. I restarted the machine and completed my run. I was totally distracted by what occurred and I couldn't get a good rhythm going, my breathing was erratic, but I hung in there and finished my 3 miles. That's worth a pat on the back.

So I'm off to shower. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

.75 mi. in 10:03 min. Warm up for strength training.
Time of day: 7 a.m.

This has been a challenging week for me. I have struggled with motivation to work out all week. I'm not sure what's going on but here are some thoughts about my state of mind.

The week started out with the realization that I had an overnight business trip scheduled for Friday/Saturday. What to do about my running schedule? I considered rearranging the workouts so Saturday would be a rest day, or maybe a short run, or ?? Talking it over with Trainer Jeni helped me realize that I really didn't need to change a thing. All settled, right? I thought so. But now I wonder if that thinking set me up for the rest of the week.

Tuesday was a really low-energy day. I realize some days I'm not going to go out and give a 110% every minute I'm working out. But Tuesday was the kind of day where I easily talked myself out of running. My excuses ran the gamut from "I'm stiff and sore" to "My schedule is screwy today" to "I'll call this my rest day and workout Wednesday". I was not in a good spot. Thank goodness for my friend, Ron, who told me about the $100 deposit philosophy and by doing so got me to the gym to run.

So Wednesday comes along; regular rest day and yoga. Well, no. I skipped yoga because I wanted to hear the State of the Union address last night. I think that would be a reasonable excuse to skip yoga--a year from now. I need to build a solid base of consistent workouts, including yoga, before I begin "skipping" workouts. So the speech wasn't even over before I was kicking myself in the pants for missing the yoga session.

Then this morning dawns and, darn it, I was still really not motivated to go work out. I slept an extra half hour and still wanted to just sit at the table, drink coffee and read the paper. I finally drug myself out the door and to the gym. Was it a good workout? Yes and no. Yes, because I did go. No, because it was a $10 deposit day. I really, really, really, wanted to just stay home and not get sweaty from working out.

So I have no clue what's going on in my head. But I think there are some lessons to be learned from this week. Disclaimer: These lessons apply to me & me only and may change sometime in the future.
  • My workout schedule is set in stone. There is no reason to even consider changing it, or switching days or whatever, except in the case of extreme weather or illness. There is no place I would travel to that I couldn't workout as listed on my training schedule.
  • Don't sit around "deciding" what time I'm going to workout today. Every Friday afternoon take a look at next week's schedule and write on the calendar the time for each day's workout! Ninety-nine percent of the time it is going to be first thing in the morning. Occasionally a workout will need to be scheduled later in the day. That's o.k., but put it on the calendar!
  • There is nothing on TV that is so important it can't be missed. The State of the Union address? I'm sure I could find it somewhere on the internet today. And even if I didn't, does it really matter? Did my life change for the better because I sat there and watched it? I don't think so. I would have felt much better if I'd attended the yoga session.
  • Every workout doesn't have to be 110%. It doesn't have to set new records or be the "best" workout of my life. But I do need to workout every day. At this point my exercise base isn't strong enough to withstand even an occasional absence. For me right now, "something" every day is better than "fabulous" once or twice a week.
So now that I've slapped myself around a bit have I found any good nuggets in this lackluster week? Well, yes. I have a goal. A goal of running a half marathon in April. And I firmly believe that goal was the underlying reason I worked out Tuesday and today. I was able to acknowledge that if I'm going to run that race in April, I truly cannot afford to miss any workouts. I believe that having a goal, that goal, is what got me moving this week.

It's been an interesting week. It's not over yet. The weather forecast is for ice and snow Friday and Saturday. The possibility of running outside is slim, but will I even make it to the gym? I don't know. If I can, I definitely will. If I can't, I will dust off some old workout DVDs and use those as my workout. Because I realize I need to workout every day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Money in the Bank

3.0 mi. in 38:38 with up to 1.5% incline.
Temp: warm enough to run outside but I messed up my schedule and ended up on the treadmill.
Time of day: 4 p.m.

After telling a friend how low-energy I was feeling yesterday and how I thought I would just swap rest days and run on Wednesday, he asked me if I had ever heard of the $100 deposit philosophy. "Nope", I replied. Here it is. Exercise is like depositing money in a savings account. Some days are $100 deposits, some days are $10 deposits. But the idea is to deposit something every day. Regular small money deposits eventually create a sizeable nest egg. Likewise, small exercise efforts add up in many ways: increased endurance and strength, continued calorie burn, better disposition, more toned body, and much more. For me, it is the mental discipline of exercising daily.

Both Jeni and this friend have told me the biggest obstacle to my running is in my head. I believe them. Today my friend suggested that if I didn't feel like running to go out and walk. Even if it was only for 15 or 20 minutes. It might only be a $10 deposit day, but it would be a deposit. By the time I got to the gym later in the day I figured why not run? As long as I had made the effort to get to the gym, why not just go ahead and make a bigger "deposit"? So I challenged myself on the treadmill, running at up to 4.8 mph for .1 mi at a time, totalling .5 mi. And I added some incline, up to 1.5%. The changes were not big, but still a challenge. So instead of just putting in 40 minutes of boring running on the treadmill, I mixed it up a little and ended up feeling so much better physically and mentally.

Isn't it great to have friends?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just Another Monday

1.00 mi. in 13:02 min. 0% incline (warm up for strength training)
Time of day: 6 a.m.

Today was strength training. My & my light weights had a good workout. I did run a little faster on the warm up based on yesterday's run. Not much, but a little.

A New Trail

2.00 mi. in 25:52 min.
Temp.: 44°F, WC 36°F
Time of Day: 10:45 a.m.

I had the pleasure of running with my son on Sunday. We ran at a park near his home. It was good training to a) run with a partner, and b) run a trail with other traffic. Running with Scott increased my pace a bit. He was very conscientious of how fast we were running, but I told him I was pushing myself, but not too hard. It helped me realize that I can (and maybe should) pick up my pace a bit. Scott also suggested we run together every Sunday. I like that idea.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Correct Way To Put On Your Socks

4.11 mi. in 55:53 min.
Time of day: 7 a.m.
Temp: 44°F, WC 36°F
To Christopher and back!

When John Wooden became the basketball coach at UCLA, one of the first things he did was take the members of the team into the locker room and began instructing them on the correct way to put on their socks. When the players began scoffing at this instruction, so the story goes, Coach Wooden told them that their feet were their lifeline to the game. If the socks weren't on their feet correctly, it would cause discomfort which could affect their ability to play. If they got a blister because the sock rubbed, they would be out of the game. So Coach Wooden spent time teaching these young men the importance of putting on their socks correctly. Driving home the point that small things can make a difference.

I learned first hand this morning about the socks. I had to stop twice to pull up one of my socks. Obviously I didn't put it on correctly. The second time fixed the situation, but I thought about Coach Wooden this morning while I ran. I don't know a lot about the man, but I do know that he taught his players to pay attention to the small details, like putting on your socks correctly. I realize when I pay attention to my form, keep my shoulders down, upright back, hands pointed straight ahead with elbows bent, place my feet properly as they hit the ground, running becomes less work and more pleasure.

Good form helped me run a new distance today, 4.11 miles. But more than the miles it was the turn around point I ran to. A point I had previously psyched myself out of running to. A point that really was not that much farther than I had previously run. Good form kept me going strong the entire run. Thanks, Coach Wooden.

I'd also like to say thanks to my coach, Jeni, and The Love Of My Life, and my other children for their support and encouragement as I make this journey. I'm having a great time. I appreciate every word of encouragement from each of you. Thank you all.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good For the Face

3.01 mi. in 40:11 min.
Time of day: 7 a.m.
Temp: 34°F, WC 28°F, light mist

Today's run was so good for my face. How's that, you ask? There was this very fine mist falling, so fine that at first I wasn't even sure there was precipitation coming down. But there was and so I figure 40 minutes of such a fine mist has to hydrate the skin on my face—and that's a good thing!

Dare I say today's run was not hard, almost routine? I even had one of those fleeting moments when I forgot I was running and just moved gracefully along listening to the music. As I ran that last .1 miles and was reviewing the run in my head I thought, "Wow, this was pretty o.k. Not a huge amount of effort." I rate my effort as a 5 or 6.

Next week will be a test. I have to go out of town on a quick overnight business trip. Can I run before I leave one morning and then run when I get back the next day? Psyching myself already to do it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Such a Lightweight!

1.0 mi. in 13:34 min., 0% incline as warm up for strength training.

I feel really silly when I am in the free weight area at the gym. There are all these muscular guys who have been working out daily for as long as I've been a member. Then there is me. Middle-aged and really out of shape. I lift my 5 lb. & 10 lb. dumbbells next to the guy who is grunting his way through bicep curls with a 50 lb. dumbbell. Quite a scene to the outside observer.

I don't want to get stiff and sore. I don't want to injure myself. And I'm not interested in having a muscular body. I just want to develop strength in my upper torso so I can run better. So I will continue to lift light weights as I develop my muscles gradually. Hopefully those triceps that are beginning to flap in the wind will slowly tighten up and go away.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rest Day

Rest day today.
Yoga this evening.

I Did It!

4.01 mi. in 52:28 min.
Time of day: 4:15 p.m.
Temp: 38°F, 34°F wind chill

I did it! I ran my first official 4 mile run! It was tough. I rate it a 9.8 or 9.9 on the effort scale. Why so high? I ran a slightly different route and didn't realize it started with a long incline. It is amazing to me that even small inclines in the road—inclines you don't even notice in a car—make a difference in effort and energy in a run.

The reason I changed my route was completely mental. On Monday I did an excellent job of psyching myself into believing that the 2 mile turnaround point on my standard route would be way too far for me. That there would be no way I could run the route and make it. So Tuesday morning I changed the route from my usual out-and-bank to a point-to-point run. My husband dropped me off at the starting point and I headed home. I didn't realize there was this long, steady, albeit not very steep, incline on the road. I expended a lot of energy covering that territory. But I didn't ever stop and walk. I ran the entire 4.01 miles. I am really proud of myself for sticking with it. Yeah for me!

I tried some more GU on this run. This time I "ate" Espresso Love at the beginning of my run. The flavor is o.k. I didn't notice any big energy rush from the GU. But maybe the fact that I had enough energy to run the entire distance is due to eating the extra nutrition. Not sure.

I'm getting more comfortable running with the water bottle. I was working so hard on this run that I didn't finish all the water until I was walking the short distance for my cool down.

I talked to Jeni, my personal trainer/coach, shortly after I finished. I was so happy I just had to share it with her. She gave me a lot of info to work on as race prep.
  • Start visualizing running in a crowd, people around me breathing loudly, passing me, me passing people. Listen for the sound of shoes hitting pavement, people talking in a crowd, a bullhorn counting down the time.
  • Think about if I'm going to run with an iPod or not, carry water or not.
  • Plan to actually stop at the water stations for a drink. Don't try to run through them and grab a cup.
  • Remember it's just running and I can stop and go to the bathroom if I need to.
For the Frosty Five race in particular,
  • position myself (and Scott) about 2/3 of the way back from the starters.
  • remember that I am setting the pace for this race and be sure to let Scott know what that pace is or if I need to change it.
  • Wednesday & Thursday nights will be important rest nights. Friday night I probably will be excited about the race and won't sleep good.
  • Be sure to drink lots of extra water the week of the race to hydrate my body.
So the race prep begins. It is only 3 weeks to the Frosty Five and I need to get ready!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, Monday

Sunday Stats:
2.0 mi. in 27:37 min. Short/easy run
Time of day: 1 p.m.
Temp: 40°F, WC 34°F

Monday Stats:
1.0 mi in 13:27 min. 0% incline Warm up for strength training
Time of day: 6:30 a.m.

Sunday's run was a needed short, easy run. I was pretty worn out after Saturdays 3.8 mile run. I could tell I was tired so I didn't push it, just a slower, easier pace. I noticed at one point I was even shuffling my feet slightly. So I paid special attention to my form after that. I don't think the shuffling was because I was really, really tired. I think I just lapsed into bad form.

It was beautiful outside. The sun was shining. I was overdressed in my cool Nike pants, a long-sleeved shirt, jacket, gloves & headband. I think when the WC or temperature is over 35°, I need to switch to regular weight running pants.

This morning (Monday) I experienced an unusual lack of motivation. I could have stretched back out on the bed and skipped the gym. But I didn't. I pushed myself out the door and had a good workout. I am up to 3 sets of each strength training exercise (15-12-10 reps). The weights are still light, in the 10-15 lb. range mostly. But I do not want to get stiff so I am not pushing myself on weight. One thing new I did today is rest longer between sets. I figured out how to use the timers in my GymBuddy app. I set the first one for 30 seconds and when I finished a set I started it. So I rested a full 30 seconds between each set which I have not done before. I think it helped me perform better with the slightly longer rest between sets.

Tomorrow is my first official 4 mile run. Oh yeah!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday's Run

Saturday's Stats
3.8 mi. in 49:42 min. actual running time.
warm up & cool down is .36 mi in apprx. 5 min total.
Temp: 41°F, cloudy & overcast
Time of run: 1 p.m.

It was a cloudy, overcast day but still warm so I headed out to run around 1 p.m. I planned to run about 3.5-3.75 miles, actually closer to the 3.5 mi. But sometimes the best laid plans go awry.

The-Love-of-My-Life has expressed concern over my safety while running alone. So I tested a new iPhone app called SportIce. When activated this app flashes and has a "touch here in case of emergency" message. When you touch the bar, the phone will display emergency contact info, medications, & health info. It seems like a great idea. If you start music before activating the SportIce app, the music continues to play. And, if I start my Runmeter app (to track distance & time) it tracks my time. Unfortunately it didn't track my distance. So when I realized it wasn't tracking my distance I had to restart Runmeter. And, apparently I can't add in my head & run at the time same time because I ended up running 3.8 mi. instead of the 3.5 miles I had been aiming for. Today is a short run so no big deal.

Saturday's run was a 9 on the effort scale (1-10). But I feel a great sense of accomplishment that I didn't stop & walk at all even with the extra distance. I am registered for the Frosty Five race in February which is a 5 mi. run. I'm thinking I will be able to finish it running. Woo-hoo!

Also, it's official now. I am registered for the Go! St. Louis half-marathon in April. Thank you to my son for regestering me. It was his birthday present to me. So now I am committed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Outside at Last

3.44 mi. in 49:36 min.
3 min. walk to warm up; 2.5 min. cool down.
Temp: 41° F., no wind chill
Time of Day: 6:45 a.m.

Yeah! I got to run outside this morning. It felt great! It felt great to not only be outside but also physically I felt good. Jeni called last night to remind me that switching from inside on the treadmill to outside on the road with hills might result in more fatigue and slower times. She was right. I really felt my body work on the hills and I did have a slower pace time than on the treadmill. I'm glad she called me to discuss those things, but it felt so great to be outside running that I wasn't discouraged at all.

Today's running experiment included carrying a water bottle and drinking from it, and trying out GU. Mmm, yummy. The GU was fine. I ate it about halfway through my run so it didn't have a chance to actually provide me any nutrition. (According to Jeni it takes about 30 min. for it to get into your system.) But I was able to open it and eat it successfully. How was it? Definitely not a fine dining experience, but OK. I look at it as nourishment I need to run, so as long as I can manage to open it and it doesn't cause any problems, it will be fine.

The water bottle was very distracting. It wasn't carrying it that was the problem. It was the sloshing motion of the water. I tried holding it a couple different ways, but it was still distracting. Jeni suggested holding it horizontal so the water movement more closely matches your running motion. Also, she suggested purchasing a water bottle with a pull-up top. That way I don't have to unscrew the cap or worry about dropping it, both of which I did think about this morning.

I also wore the thin performance socks. I'm not too crazy about them. I'm going to wear the thicker ones tomorrow for my LDR and see how they feel.

Oh, BTW, I'm racking up the miles on my new Nike's. They have 4.44 miles on them now. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh My Achin' Muscles

1 mi. in 13:30 min. (warm up run)
Strength training

I'm just joking about my muscles aching. I went to yoga last night and it was a very good session. Much better than the first one I attended a couple of weeks ago. When I got up this morning, The-Love-of-My-Life commented that I seemed a little stiff. I was feeling the yoga workout last night. But all was good once I started running.

Today was the fourth strength training workout. I am up to 3 sets of each exercise and it is challenging. When I got back home and started fixing breakfast I felt my muscles quivering. I feel fine this afternoon. I'll have to be sure to pay attention to how I feel tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow…I am so excited I will be able to run outside tomorrow. It appears the rain is out of the forecast so that is awesome. It will be fabulous to get outside again. Plus, I will get to wear my cool new Nike running pants!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And On The Seventh Day She Rested

Rest Day!

Last Wednesday I was remarking about how this is a great training program, train 2 days & rest. What I failed to realize is that after that first rest day there would be 6 days of training before I got another rest day. (OK. I know I'm blonde.) So I was really glad to get to today so I could rest my body.

I do have yoga on Wednesday nights which I really look forward to. Tomorrow is strength training, then on Friday I get to run outside!! If it's not raining. Can you believe that rain is in the forecast for Friday? The first day in over 2 weeks that it will be warm enough to run outside and it might rain. Just my luck.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


3.79 mi. in 52:21 min. 0% incline
.25 mi warmup & .29 cool down totalling 9.21 min.
Actual run stats 3.25 mi. in 43:00 min.

Wind chill this morning was around 10°F. so I ran on the treadmill, hopefully the last time this week. Temps are supposed to climb to the low-40s later this week.

For a long time I had a sign on my refrigerator that said something like, "Small changes = big results". This was supposed to motivate me to eat better. The thinking is that small changes in my eating habits would eventually result in big weight loss. It didn't work. And I think the reason why is because it did not include the concept of consistency. "Consistent" small changes will equal big results.

I see the difference consistent training has had on my running. When I started this journey 8 weeks ago, I could only run for 1 minute at a time. But my daily, gradual, consistent work has paid off and today I ran 3.25 mi. in 43:00 minutes. Amazing that I ran a total of 3.25 miles and that I ran for 43 minutes straight.

I see and feel the difference consistent training has had on my body and also my mind. Today as I hit the 3-mile mark I was feeling tired and, truthfully, could have quit. But I told myself, "You can do it. You have already run 3 miles a couple of times. Time to up the distance just a tad. You can do it, Duffy Moon!" By consistently running 5 & 6 days a week for the past 8 weeks I knew I had what it would take to get me through that last 1/4 mile. And I did!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week 2 Begins

1 mi. in 14:12 min. (warm up run for strength training)

For my birthday Jeni bought me new running shoes. As mentioned in previous posts, I have this irrational fear that right about race time in April my current shoes will hit the 500 mi. mark (I logged 100 mi. on my current shoes this weekend.) and I'll not be able to run because the current shoes are too run down and I haven't broken in any new shoes. So, Jeni graciously and lovingly, bought me new shoes.

We went to Fleet Feet and received wonderful help from Christine. She measured my foot, asked me questions about my running style, checked out my existing shoes, and finally helped me decide on a new pair of Nike running shoes. (It's a bonus that they are pink!) She also helped me find a better sports bra and then had an indepth conversation about nourishment while running. She was awesome! I also came home with 2 different styles of performace socks to try out. (Who knew socks could be so technical?)

So this morning I followed her "break in" suggestions and wore the new shoes for a short 1 mile warm up run before I strength trained. I was very surprised that they were so comfortable to run in. I didn't feel like I was "breaking in" a new pair of shoes at all. But I will stick to Christine's suggestions and run in my (now) old shoes for tomorrow's 3 miles.

The bitterly cold weather has finally moved on east. I'm so excited for the warm up. (Whoever thought 30°F. would be considered warm.) It will be Friday, however, before I actually get to run outside. I am really looking forward to it!

Overheard at the Gym Early Saturday Morning

Mom:  I'm disappointed  I haven't lost weight.

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach:  Mom, I told you this isn't a weight loss program.

Mom (quickly):  I know. I know. But…

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach:  You shouldn't try to lose weight when you are training for a race. You need to build your strength and endurance.

Mom: I know you said that, but I thought that I would lose a couple of pounds now since all the Christmas cookies, fudge, and other goodies are gone.

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach:  Well, have you lost any weight at all?

Mom (proudly): Yes! I lost 5 lbs. right off the bat. And like I said, I thought with Christmas over I might lose a couple more.

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach: Well that's awesome that you lost that 5 lbs. But your running probably kept you from gaining weight over Christmas.

Mom (disappointedly): Yes, I guess you're right.

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach (a little impatiently): Mom, you are looking amazing! Can't you tell the difference?

Mom:  Yes, but I don't think other people looking at me in my street clothes can tell any difference.

Daughter aka Trainer/Coach (emphatically): Yes they can! And besides, if you can tell the difference, who cares about them? Like I said, you are looking amazing!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my daughter?

The Party of the Season

Saturday's Stats: (LDR)
3.45 mi. in 49:00 min. on the treadmill at 4.5 mph for 3 mi.

Sunday's Stats: (short run)
2.52 mi. in 40:00 min. on the treadmill at 4.5 mph for 2 mi.

It was party time at my house this past weekend. My daughter/coach/trainer and grandchildren came to deliver a TV and celebrate my birthday. It was by far and away the best birthday celebration I have ever had in my entire life! Saturday night The-Love-of-My-Life and our 3 children, 2 SO's, and 4 grandchildren (my favorite son-in-law had to stay in Chicago for business) gathered together for a spaghetti & meatball dinner. Jeni cooked the entree and baked the cake, Michelle made a wonderful salad & poured the wine. Scott handled table duty. We had a blast! Thank you to everyone!

But back to running—I was blessed to have Jeni in town to not only run with me, but answer every little question I have about running whenever it just popped into my head. She helped my form by having me lower my shoulders/arms as I'm running. I'm surprised at how much better I feel by making that small adjustment. Apparently I was hunching my shoulders just a little.

She chastised me for not drinking enough water while I run. When I explained I'm careful about the water intake so I don't have to stop & go to the bathroom, she gave me this look like, "Are you serious?". And then she said, "Are you serious? You are just running. If you have to stop & go to the bathroom, well then, stop & go." Mmm, yeah. It is, afterall, just running. I'm not out to win any races. I am doing this for the pleasure it brings me. So, I have upped my water intake and, darn it, I'll just stop & go to the bathroom when I need to!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Left My Nice Warm Bed For This

Medium Run - 3 mi. in 40:04 min.
Total 3.46 mi. in 48:04 min.

Today's run was tough both mentally & physically. Two days without running left me wanting to quit about 3/4 mi. into my run. But I didn't. I kept encouraging myself, playing little games with the numbers on the treadmill, listening to rock music, anything to get past the 1.5 mi. mark so I could tell myself  "it's all down hill from here". I made it!

Jeni will be here tomorrow & Sunday so we can run together. I'm pretty excited about that. I just wish it wasn't so darn cold so we could run outside. But seriously, with this bitter cold, I am grateful to have a nice warm house to live in.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Strength Training

OK. Enough already. I've about had it with the -10°F wind chills. And 6" of snow to boot, er, shovel.

I didn't make it to the gym so tonight I scrounged around and collected enough old free weights to work through my strength training routine, except for the 2 leg exercises. I need to do some research and find out what I can sub for leg extensions and leg curls.

Obviously I didn't get in the 1 mile warm up run, but I am very happy I figured out how to do the strength training at home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2 Days and I Need a Rest

Scheduled rest day

Wow! I'm loving this training program. Two days of work and I get a rest day. What could be better than that? Actually I take a yoga class on Wednesday evenings but I just might miss it tonight. It is supposed to start snowing here around 5:30 this evening and leave us tomorrow morning with 5" of snow.

No lingering effects of my 3 mile run yesterday. The muscles in legs were a little sore last night, but are fine today.

Also, I forgot to note yesterday that other than a little soreness in my upper chest muscles, I didn't have any soreness or stiffness from the strength training Monday. I think that is a good sign I can up my weight tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Am A Distance Runner

3.51 mi. in 49:45 min. 0% incline
.18 mi. in 3 min. at 3.7 mph to warm up.
3.1 mi. in 41:45 min at 4.5 mph
.23 mi. in 5 min cool down
Temp: 19°F, 8°F wind chill (I ran on the treadmill at the gym)

I ran today for distance. I ran 3 miles. (I walk to warm up & cool down.) So I conclude that now I am a distance runner. A short distance runner, maybe, but I run for the distance not the time now.

I almost didn't run today. My toe really hurt this morning when I got up and as I was hobbling around the kitchen I decided that I wouldn't be able to run. I was thinking that maybe I would just get on a bike at the gym and cycle for a while, but it was bitterly cold this morning. So after setting out the trash in the -12° F. wind chill weather, I decided I would wait this later in the morning to venture out. To my surprise my toe felt so much better by 11:30 a.m. that I decided to give running a shot. No problems.

I am really tired of running indoors and wish it would warm up enough that I can run outside. But the weather forecast is for this really cold weather to hang around for another week or so.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Official!

Day 1 Training
1 mi. warm up run @ 4.4 mph for 13:54 min. 0% incline
Strength training exercises

Today is the first day I am officially in training for my half-marathon. So how did I celebrate? By dropping my hair dryer on the middle toe of my right foot and cutting a deep gash in it. I am ignoring the throbbing in my foot right now. It will be fine by tomorrow morning and my 3 mi. run.

Today's workout was easier than I was anticipating. I don't know why but I spent most of yesterday evening worrying about crossing over to the free weight area of the gym. In the past when I have worked out with weights I used the Cybex machines available. I have only ventured over to the free weight area a few times. Maybe it is those gigantic 100 lb. dumbbells that intimidate me, who knows. But I did just fine. I started out with light weights, 7.5-10 lb. held in each hand. Thursday will definitely see weight added to all but 1 or 2 individual exercises.

It is dangerously cold here so I will be running indoors all week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 2

2.95 mi. in 40 min., 0% incline
5 min warmup, 30 min run, 5 min cool down
Time of day: 9:00 a.m.
Very cold today, low single digit wind chill

Was I up for another day of 30 min. continuous run? You bet. I was not stiff nor sore. That was not only a good sign but also a relief. I think I am doing a fairly good job of conditioning and gradually increasing my run time so that yesterday wasn't a big change. Also, I'm really glad I wasn't sore because it would have made running harder, but it wouldn't have kept me off the treadmill.

My 30 minute timed run covered 2.29 miles. Slightly better than yesterday. Yes, I admit it. I set the speed on the treadmill at 4.6 mph for 15 minutes, then backed off to 4.5 mph for the 2nd 15 min. I planned it this way.

I had a new experience on the treadmill today. There was a guy running on the machine next to me. At first he was running much faster than me, 6.3 mph. (Yes, I peeked.) But at some point I noticed we running at the same pace. Obviously he slowed down because I sure didn't speed up. But there we were, our legs moving in sync with each other. After 5 minutes or so (maybe not that long) I noticed that he had slowed down some more and we were no longer in sync. I momentarily lost my rhythm. The rhythm of running in tandem was gone. But it was cool while it lasted.

Here is the training schedule Jeni & I worked out.
Monday-strength train (routine from The Complete Book of Running for Women) with a 1 mi. warm up run.
Tuesday-Medium distance run (distance to be determined by Jeni)
Wednesday-rest with a 1 hour Yoga class in the evening.
Thursday-repeat Monday
Friday-repeat Tuesday
Saturday-LDR (cool running lingo for Long Distance Run) Of course, my LDR's will be like 3 miles to start.
Sunday-Short run (So if my LDR is 3 miles, what constitutes a short run? I'm just asking.)

I am so excited to be starting this personalized-just-for-me training plan. Plus, Jeni & the DGK will be here next weekend to celebrate my birthday. This week is going to be awesome!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Think I Can Do This!

2.9 mi. in 40 min. 0% incline
Temp: 12° F. sub-zero wind chills
Time of Run: 11:30 a.m.
5 min. warm-up, 30 min. run, 5 min. cool down

Do you see that? That 30 min. run notation. No more run/walks for me. I am now able to run 30 min. straight. I can hardly believe it. I didn't think I would ever be able to run for 30 min. straight again in my life. I am overwhelmed by what I did today.

When I first talked to Jeni about running a half-marathon there was a lot of bravado in my talk. "Oh sure, I can do this," I said. "I am up for the training. No problem." But I have to admit that there were times in the last 7 weeks that I thought I was crazy for trying this. Times when I ached and my legs hurt and I wondered if I was too old and run down and out of shape to even attempt this. I'm sure I will have days when I question myself in the future. But today I ran for 30 minutes straight!

BTW my 30 minute distance was 2.29 miles.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Yes, Virginia, It Really Is Cold

Today is a rest day.

Yes, it really got cold overnight. The temperature this morning is 13°F. with a wind chill of 2°. Way too cold for me to run outside. Plus, I was reviewing my running calendar and realized I have run 6 days in a row. Time to take a day off. I know my goal was to run 30 min. nonstop on January 1, 2010, but it will wait till tomorrow. The forecast is for more of the same cold weather, but I will run on the treadmill if it doesn't warm up some.

Happy New Year everyone!